Life Insurance Money & Giving Back

Life insurance. Why do they even call it that? It does not insure anyone that they will have a long life. I guess that is the name it is given to ease the mind. Better than some companies that call it death benefits. Why this name? What are the benefits of death? Aside from organ donation and saving someone else’s life there are none.
I have received both since my son’s passing. Life Insurance and death benefits. Not a lot of money. I was able to pay off the rest of his bills and finish paying for the balance of the funeral expenses. There was even some left over. I have been faced with what to do with this money for months now. People have made many suggestions. Buy a new car. Remodel the house. Go on a vacation or cruise. I just cannot entertain any of these ideas. First off, I didn’t get nearly as much as most thought I did. Second, I just cannot bring my self to use this money to do anything for personal pleasure. This is money that we received because our son died. When we started these accounts it was because we thought the kids could use it if we died. Not because of one of them dying. How could I enjoy what I have so lovingly (insert sarcastic voice) refer to as death money. If I went on that family cruise and looked back at the pictures, who would be missing? My son. I cannot think of one thing that I would want to do with this money that would benefit me that I would have a peace of mind with much less enjoy.
So after months and months of tossing ideas back and forth with Jeff and the kids, we have settled on a decision. We will use that money to help others like us. There are two sets of families like us that will benefit.
The first is families that have lost loved ones in this small town. When a loved one dies, there are people everywhere. Two weeks later, the calm comes and most are left alone. You still have the visitors here and there but for the most part, you are left to sort your grief out alone. I was blessed to have a very good support group of family and friends. But what about the ones that don’t have this? There is no grief counseling here in this town. So what are we grieving to do? Well, hopefully at the beginning of next year, we will be able to have everything in order to start a support group. One where we can get together and just talk, laugh or cry. Share feelings. Help each other. Part of this support will be for us to reach out the minute someone looses someone and stay with them throughout the years. Not just send a plant, card or casserole and leave after the funeral. But to stay with them for the days that get rough. Be there for all the firsts, seconds and always. A group just to show love, support and prayer.
The second is for donor families. Yes, there is a lot of support being offered to us. But I have found that the best support I have is the one on one with other families like ours. Some of my best therapy has come from a special friend I have made who’s son tragically passed just after mine and was an organ donor. There are times when we email each other and talk about things that we would probably never talk about with to our husbands much less anyone else. Sometimes we just email to share something that we read that was inspiring to us. Or to simply share a letter we received from a recipient of our children’s gifts.
I will use the money that was received as a result of a young man’s untimely death to benefit others. He was always giving and caring. Always trying to help others. Always trying to bring a smile to others when they were down and out. So that is what I will do. I will honor the person he always was. A giver, Not a receiver. A light for others. I will be the light for him now.
richriver